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Don't judge OSU's Le'Bryan Nash by his body language

OSU BASKETBALL — Cowboys players and coaches say the heralded freshman is giving his all on the court.
by John Helsley Published: November 29, 2011
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Travis Ford sees what you see, Cowboys fans.

He sees much-hyped recruit Le'Bryan Nash, all but ordained as Oklahoma State's basketball savior, sending all the wrong signals with a body language that screams of disinterest.

And Ford is here to inform that all is not what it seems. In fact, Nash's vibe has been misconstrued.

“One-hundred percent,” Ford said. “I misconstrued it at first.”

Nash, according to Ford — and the Cowboys players agree — just has a laid-back personality, not unlike James Anderson when he first arrived in Stillwater.

“That's just his demeanor,” Ford said.

Now, Ford acknowledges that Nash must play harder more regularly. And he implores his freshman to provide more energy and passion and emotion into his game. And Ford hopes it starts Wednesday night, with Tulsa visiting Gallagher-Iba Arena for a 7 p.m. tipoff.

But the perception that Nash doesn't care, Ford said, doesn't fly, although it's a take that's spreading among fans and has made its way all the way to the head coach's office.

“You wouldn't believe the phone calls I get,” Ford said. “Does he look like he's not interested? Does he have bad body language? Does he seem like he's moping around? He does, you can't deny that. And it does affect him to some extent.

“You can ask anybody around here, everybody loves him. He's a great young man. But his perception is read wrong.”

So Ford and his staff are working on changing the perception, which means changing Nash.

“You've been doing something for 18 years … it's going to take time,” Ford said. “And it's not because he doesn't want to. And it's not because he doesn't realize it.

“He can sit and watch film with me and say, ‘Oh, you're right.'”

Since OSU's exhibition opener against Panhandle State, when Nash posted a double-double of 26 points and 11 rebounds, things haven't come so easy for the McDonald's All-American out of Dallas.

For now, he's struggling with the transition, often looking mechanical, as if he's measuring his moves, rather than simply reacting.

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by John Helsley
OSU Reporter Sr.
John Helsley grew up in Del City, reading all the newspapers and sports magazines he could get his hands on. And Saturday afternoons, when the Major League Game of the Week was on, he'd keep a scorecard for the game. So the sports appeal was was...
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Oklahoma State vs. Tulsa

When: 7 p.m. Wednesday

Where: Gallagher-Iba Arena, Stillwater

Radio: KXXY-FM 96.1

Three things to know

*Cowboys guard Fred Gulley is doubtful after dislocating his shoulder against Stanford in New York City.

*Tulsa is coming off a 69-64 overtime loss at Missouri State.

*OSU owns a 70-37 edge over TU in a series that dates back to 1908. The teams have split the past two meetings — both in Tulsa — with the Cowboys winning 71-54 at the BOK Center a year ago.

Projected Starters

Oklahoma State (3-2), , , , ,

Pos., Player, Ht., Cl., Pts., Reb.

F, Jéan-Paul Olukemi, , 6-6, Jr., 10.2, 4.4

C, Philip Jurick, 6-11, Jr., 2.6, 8.0

G, Cezar Guerrero, 6-0, Fr., 11.9, 2.2

G, Keiton Page, 5-9, Sr., 8.5, 1.5*

G, Markel Brown, 6-3, So., 11.4, 8.2

Tulsa (4-3), , , , ,

Pos., Player, Ht., Cl., Pts., Reb.

F, Steven Idlet, 6-11, Sr., 10.4, 5.9

C, Kodi Maduka, 7-0, So., 8.9, 7.9

G, Jordan Clarkson, 6-5, So., 15.0, 4.9

G, Tim Peete, 6-5, So, 4.1, 2.7

G, Scottie Haralson, 6-4, Jr., 11.7, 2.6

* assists

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